Interior of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

The Premier of Ontario announced major changes to his cabinet late this afternoon. In a press release, the government stated that Doug Ford’s “renewed team will keep rebuilding Ontario’s economy and deliver on the government’s core commitments.”

While certain key portfolios (Finance, Health, Labour) remain unchanged, there are several significant changes that will impact the business community in Huron County. Most striking is the dissolution of OMAFRA (Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs) into two new ministries: Farming, Agriculture, and AgriBusiness, led by Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, and Rural Affairs, led by Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce. Ms. Thompson had been the Minister for OMAFRA since 2021.

The Huron Chamber applauds the recognition of AgriBusiness as a key contributor to Ontario’s economy, deserving of a dedicated Ministry. It remains to be seen how this restructuring will impact business interests in rural Ontario, but we are cautiously optimistic that these two ministries will bring renewed focus to the commercial, and social challenges facing rural communities.

We look forward to continuing our good working relationship with Ms. Thompson and working closely with Mr. Flack and his team to bring prosperity and growth to our critical agribusiness sector.

Here is a list of notable changes affecting various industries in Huron County. The full list of Cabinet ministers can be found at Ontario.ca.

  • Stan Cho becomes Minister of Tourism, Culture and Gaming, with responsibility for OLG
  • Rob Flack becomes Minister of Farming, Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • Mike Harris becomes Minister of Red Tape Reduction
  • Natalia Kusendova-Bashta becomes Minister of Long-Term Care
  • Stephen Lecce becomes Minister of Energy and Electrification
  • Todd McCarthy becomes Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery and Procurement, with responsibility for Supply Ontario
  • Greg Rickford becomes Minister of Indigenous Affairs and First Nations Economic Reconciliation and remains Minister of Northern Development
  • Graydon Smith becomes Minister of Natural Resources
  • Lisa Thompson becomes Minister of Rural Affairs